Western Washington

Discussion in 'Shooting Ranges - Places To Shoot' started by mattj, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. mattj

    mattj Well-Known Member

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    So, we've covered Eastern Washington, what about 1000-yard opportunities for Seattle metro area folks? I know there's at least one 600-yard range (Cascade Rifle and Pistol Club), but I'd prefer a "field" setting where shots out to 1000+ are possible.

    I'll guess I'll drive east 4 hours across the mountains if I have to, but if anybody knows of any suitable locales within, say, 50-60 miles of the Seattle metro area, I'd much appreciate the intel.

    Regular practice is much easier when it doesn't require 6-8 hours round trip...
     
  2. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    Actually, there are several 600yd KD ranges in the western Washington region... have you tried looking on the state rifle & pistol association site (www.wsrpa.net)?

    Ones that come to mind...

    Cascade (Ravendale)
    Paul Bunyan (Puyallup)
    Upper Nisqually Sportsmens Club (Eatonville)
    Seattle Rifle & Pistol Assoc. (Machias)
    Tacoma Rifle & Revolver (Tacoma)

    Then when you get on the 'dry' side things thin out in a hurry...

    Rattlesnake (Tri-Cities)
    North Central Washington Gun Club (East Wenatchee)
    Spokane Rifle Club (Spokane)

    If you have Google Earth installed you can go here:

    Google Earth Community: Fullbore/Highpower Facilities

    and download a data file that should open in Google Earth... and show you the location of most of the major KD ranges in the US and abroad.

    As far as 'field' shooting... short of finding a section of public land w/ a powerline cut thru it... I think you're pretty well SOL. I was under the distinct impression that the local law enforcement had clamped down hard on exactly that kind of shooting (people going out in the woods and banging away) due to the population density and vandalism/littering. Still fairly accessible over on this side of the mountains (even so, there are a few 'holes' I wish they'd shut down).

    HTH,

    Monte
     

  3. mattj

    mattj Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply Milanuk --

    You pretty much confirmed my suspicion as far as non-range shooting is concerned -- I guess I'll have to venture east to practice under field conditions. It's still do-able, it just becomes an all-day or all-weekend type thing with significant gas expense. Oh well.

    Thank you for the Google Earth link, that's very handy. I think Ravendale is still closest to me.
     
  4. DONTSTROKEME

    DONTSTROKEME Well-Known Member

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  5. mattj

    mattj Well-Known Member

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    DONTSTROKEME - email sent, thanks!
     
  6. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    Matt,IIRC, Cascade has a 600yd match coming up sometime in September... it's the 600yd Prone Championship, but theres usually some F-Class shooters as well. A lot of the 'regular' F-Class shooters (including me) will be down at Raton NM for the Nationals, but it might be worth your while to show up and give it a try. F-Class is certainly no substitute for practicing shooting under field conditions, but it's a dang good way to practice doping the wind and making your shots count before you spend the time/money to go afield.If you make it over this way (Wenatchee) give me a holler.Monte
     
  7. mattj

    mattj Well-Known Member

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    Milanuk,
    I don't think I'll be set up to shoot yet by then (I'm being a little forward-thinking with this thread -- actually still working on getting a rifle together), but I'm interested in the whole F-class concept. Is it really the case that you can just show up at most highpower prone matches and shoot F-class? If so, what percentage of F-class shooters do you typically see? If not, where do you 'regular' F-Class guys get in your matches when you're not shooting State/Nationals?

    Thanks in advance for schooling me...

    Matt
     
  8. bwaites

    bwaites Well-Known Member

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    F-Class is really 2 classes, one limited to .223 and .308, and an open class, where essentially anything goes. F-class and highpower are 2 different birds also.

    I guess you cold almost call F-class High Power Prone, but they really are two different groups, and generally 2 different rifle set ups, although a High Power rifle could be set up to do reasonably well in F class, especially if it were a in the .223 or .308.

    Bill
     
  9. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    Bill,

    Yes and no...

    Yes, there are two classes of F-Class... F/TR and F/Open. F/TR stipulates a caliber limit (unmodified .308 or .223 - tight chambers okay, but no Ackleys), a lower weight limit (8.25kg, or about 18lbs 3oz.), and regulates the method of supporting the rifle (bipod or sling, plus a rear bag). The 8.25kg includes the weight of everything attached to the gun... including the bipod/sling. F/Open has very little restriction... under .35 caliber (less depending on the range facility), 10kg (22lbs) weight limit, 3" wide fore-end, and front rests are allowed. The weight limit still includes anything attached to the gun, as some folks up north (Canada) use a rather nifty ski/bipod system that almost rivals a traditional front rest (and it better, for the price - $400+ U.S.). Also, no mechanical rear rests allowed, no tables (includes little 'tables' setting on the ground w/ 2" legs, yes it's been tried and shot down), and no one-piece rests.

    Muzzle brakes are not allowed under either version, though a lenient local match director *may* flex on that one and stick a braked shooter down at the end of the line where they don't bother anybody. I really wouldn't count on it unless you know the match director *personally* as a lot of them are 'conventional' High Power shooters and brakes offend their sense of whats right and fair. Trust me, about the time you get squeezed in 6' apart w/ brakes on either side of you, laying on a gravel/sand firing line... you'll understand *why* ;)

    And for the 'No'...

    No, High Power and F-Class are not separate entities. I keep getting this line of B.S. (pardon my french) from people... 'Such and such isn't in the F-Class rules'. News flash: There is a reason the F-Class rules are numbered '22.xx.xx'... because they are part of the larger set of NRA High Power Rifle Rules. F-Class is an extension of conventional Prone High Power. The rules are the same, the scoring is the same (albeit a slightly smaller target), the procedures are the same, and the sanctioning body is the NRA... not the NBRSA or IBS. F/TR is *specifically* intended for ex-Palma and TR (i.e. Commonwealth Fullbore 'Target Rifle') rifles and shooters. Thats where the caliber limits stemmed from. Fullbore/Palma rifles do *very* well in F/TR... enough so that a while back a bunch of whiners (mostly tactical shooters) wanted to limit the barrel length in F/TR to 26". Somehow they thought those extra 4" of barrel were what was whipping their butt in the wind... not the 20+ years that the shooter behind it had *reading* the wind.

    Matt,

    If you go to the state R&P assoc. page, click on 'Disciplines', then 'High Power' you should see a couple links of interest. One, of course is the link to the F-Class page (which I maintain, being the 'representative' :rolleyes: for F-Class & Tactical matches). The other is the link to download the yearly match schedule in PDF format. You might d/l and open that and look at how many matches are labeled 'Prone' and/or 'Palma'. Pretty much any of those you can go to and shoot F-Class. At some, you may well be the only 'F-er' there. At others... there may be as many as a dozen - which typically constitutes anywhere from 1/2-1/3 the total attendance.

    There are some parts of the country where they have sufficient critical mass to have stand-alone F-Class only matches with 30-40 shooters (supposedly), but around here, 8-10 is a good turnout. I'm trying a F-Class only 600yd championship next weekend; we'll see how the turnout is. The timing could be better: it's going to be warm, it's awful close to Nationals, and another range which normally has a loyal following on the 2nd weekend of every month changed this month and nicked 'my' weekend, and we actually have wind on this side of the mountains ;) so we'll see how many people put their money where their mouth is as far as wanting F-Class only matches.

    Probably the single biggest gripe I get from folks is the F/TR vs. F/Open match up. Generally most match directors implement a five-competitor minimum for each 'class'. Less than that... gets rolled up into the next higher inclusive category. It happens all the time... a lot of Prone matches have a 'High Master' class, and a 'Combined' class w/ everybody else as there isn't any other way to class up 2 Masters, 1 Expert, a Sharpshooter, and a Marksman without bankrupting the match budget. Same thing for rifle classes... usually there *isn't* any division in smaller matches between Any Rifle, Match Rifle, Palma Rifle, or Service Rifle. But F/TR shooters get all sorts of bent out of shape about getting lumped in with F/Open shooters... "But I'll never be able to win..." Sorry, about the only thing that can be done is to go recruit your buddies to come and shoot. Get five of you to come out and make a class so you can get awards (may not amount to much more than a gold star) or else just worry about your own shooting and work towards the big matches where there are enough F/TR shooters to whip up on :D

    Monte
     
  10. bwaites

    bwaites Well-Known Member

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    Monte, thanks!

    I didn't go into more specifics while I was at work, because it would have taken too long.

    My point was more that High Power has a lot more to it than Prone shooting, although the Prone portion of High Power is essentially the same. (Minus the changes you mentioned) BUT...as I understand it, you can't go to a High Power match and expect to compete in just the Prone portions, right, don't you have to shoot them all? Reading your post, it looks like you can do that, is that right?

    Just the same, you can't go to an F class event and hope to shoot the Off Hand position, etc.

    Scoring is the same in Hockey and Soccer, too, but they are two different games:)

    I know, I'm being a little facetious, just pulling your chain! I really am trying to learn all this stuff and where I can fit into it.

    I'm in the same boat Matt is. I have a 6.5 Grendel I'd like to shoot in F class, realizing I won't be competitive, but that I will learn a lot.

    Bill

    PS, I wish I could come and watch your F class match, but I am back in the other Washington that weekend! I'm not anywhere ready to compete, still sorting out ideal loads for my Grendel, but I would like to watch a match and see what it's all about!
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2007
  11. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I see where the misunderstanding is.

    There is NRA High Power Rifle, otherwise known as 'Across The Course'.

    There is NRA High Power Rifle Long Range Prone.

    There is NRA High Power Rifle Mid-Range Prone.

    There is NRA High Power Rifle F-Class Prone.

    Across the Course, or 'Over The Course', otherwise abbreviated as 'XTC' or 'OTC' is the three-position NRA HP you seem to be thinking of. The match format is usually either a 50rd 'National Match Course' (NMC) or 80rd 'Regional Match Course' (RMC). Both are essentially the same w/ the exception of the number of rounds fired Standing and during Rapid Fire Sitting & Prone. In each, you shoot X number of rounds from Standing, no sling, @ 200yds (assuming full distance course ranges here, there are 'reduced course' formats for locations w/o the ability to shoot as far due to range limitations), X number of rounds in Sitting Rapid Fire (going from Standing to Sitting, and shooting 10rds w/ mandatory reload in 60 seconds) @ 200yds, X number of rounds in Prone Rapid Fire (same drill but 70 seconds) @ 300yds, and 20rds Prone Slowfire @ 600yds. These are the matches you see on schedules as 'NMC/50, RMC/80, Service Rifle Championship'... and you're right, they are not by design very F-class friendly.

    Conventional Prone, which is currently separated into 'Mid Range' (300-600yds) and 'Long Range' (800-1000yds), usually features matches that are *all shot from the Prone slowfire position*. A common format is a 60rd Prone match, where there are three 20rd stages of 2 sighting shots + 20 shots for record. Other regions refer to the same match as a '3x600'... essentially the same thing, but some subtle rule differences that mostly don't affect F-Class shooters. 'Palma' is similar except it is 2 + 15 @ 800/900/1000yds, sometimes w/ an extra 20rd stage @ 1k. Shooters rotate between shooting, scoring, and pulling and marking targets in the pits (unless its a bigger match and paid target service is available - usually Juniors or Boy Scouts or something working as a fund raiser). But the entire match is shot *prone*. Thats why above I said 'go look for the 'Prone' or 'Palma' matches'.

    To further muddy the waters... in 2007 the NRA also finally approved a set of *Fullbore* rules... so far about the only place in WA that uses them is Rattlesnake, but it doesn't discriminate against Long Range vs. Mid Range... a match format there could run 2 sighters + 10 shots @ 300, 600, 900, & 1000yds, or it could be a 300/500/600yd match at Wenatchee (very possible next year!). Again, it's still 'all prone', F-Class friendly, and more or less the same ideas... just some different rules that you can probably pick up as you go (most people do).

    As for watching matches... Machias has one the second weekend of every month except maybe September and October (hunting seasons), Cascade typically every third weekend, Paul Bunyan the first weekend, Wenatchee the fourth, Rattlesnake the third, etc. Check the schedule I mentioned above for details.
     
  12. bwaites

    bwaites Well-Known Member

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    OK, now it makes sense!

    I was only familiar with the High Power Across the Course competitions, and didn't realize that other High Power competitions were all prone.

    I'll be showing up to watch, but it always helps to have someone there to help you understand what is going on.

    Thanks for the explanations!!

    Bill
     
  13. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    Bring a rifle, a bipod, and about 100rds of ammo while you're at it. Best way to learn!
     
  14. mattj

    mattj Well-Known Member

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    milanuk,

    I really appreciate all of the information -- I'm definately going to give F-class a try when I get everything together. I may drop you a line when the time comes if I have any questions.

    Matt